This is the blog of The Reader, an award-winning, charitable social enterprise working to connect people and great literature through Shared Reading. In this way we bring books to life and put great literature into the hands of those who need it most.
On this blog we’ll showcase our work in different sectors and regions, shining a spotlight on the people who make Shared Reading happen and the individuals who benefit from it. We’ll also share features on the stories, books and poetry we love and use in our work.
You will also find information on upcoming events, courses and our own published anthologies including the A Little, Aloud collection, but for more information about The Reader, including how to join a group, become a volunteer or bring Shared Reading to your workplace or community, please visit our website.
What is Shared Reading?
For over a decade The Reader has been delivering Shared Reading groups in a variety of settings including libraries, care homes, schools, prisons, on hospital wards and more.
“We read to know we are not alone.”
Through Shared Reading we bring people together each week over a good book in a friendly, welcoming and safe environment, usually alongside a hot drink and some biscuits. We create a space where personal feeling is recognised and valued, forming vital connections between people and literature through which everyone can feel more alive.
A short story and poem is read aloud and the Reader Leader will invite group members to share in a discussion and make personal reflections on what’s been read.
In Shared Reading groups we read great literature – stories and poems that people can connect with, but we are less interested in academic interpretation, we care about personal feeling, how stories make us feel, how we connect to the poems we read. Shared Reading is for everyone, regardless of age, background or ability – that’s why we read everything aloud.
Shared Reading is a simple model, but it has a big impact on people from all walks of life, improving well-being, building resilience and connecting people. We want to make it part of the national fabric so that everyone, wherever they may be, can access a group in their own community.
We welcome a wide of range of ideas and comments about the world of reading but we do reserve the right to restrict personal or defamatory comments made on this blog.
The Reader adheres to all UK copyright laws, as such only texts out of copyright will feature in their entirety on this blog. We may feature quotes or extracts from copyrighted texts but in all cases due acknowledgement and reference will be included.
Please note that all group members and beneficiaries featured on the blog have had names changed in order to protect identities, unless express permission has been provided.